Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Wings in the Wind and Over the Lake: Schooner Days MCLXXXV (1185)
Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 11 Sep 1954
Full Text
Wings in the Wind and Over the Lake
Schooner Days MCLXXXV (1185)

by C. H. J. Snider

"WHITE WINGS they never grow weary

They carry me everywhere over the sea"

rang through every L.Y.R.A. rendezvous sixty years ago, though we were not there to hear it.

Not unnaturally wings have figured largely in the nomenclature of schooner days. On Lake Ontario we had the schooner Fleet Wing, of which we have often written, and the yacht White Wings, which perished in the stone trade after a brilliant career as a racer, and the present yacht White Wings II, which maintains the racing traditions of the first, and the yacht Whistle-wing, the first Canadian attempt at the English cutter model of the 1880's; besides the schooner Winnie Wing, sunk in collision in the Napanee river, and the tern schooner J. T. Wing, ex-rum runner which has become a marine museum at Belle Isle, Detroit.

Returning from Galway hookers and Orcadian pirates and Cornish coasters Schooner Days is greeted by a happy whir of Wings in the Wind;—by Anne Merrill, of course, Ryerson Press, Toronto; 172 pp (which means pages) and $3.50 (which means price).

We have admired Anne Merrill's column-title ever since we first set eyes on it, and it is a very great pleasure to see this now in pinion-like lettering on a sky-blue book jacket, below masterful Canada geese winging their way through the empyrean.

"Wings in the Wind" has always borne freshness and spontaneity as naturally as the succeeding seasons, and has always voiced the feeling of joyous freedom and happiness which we rightly or wrongly associate with bird life. Miss Merrill, never dogmatic nor pedantic, is ever a pleasant companion as well as a safe guide for nature lovers. This new book maintains the high standard of entertainment she has established. The predominant note of happiness is enhanced by the lively and accurate illustrations in line by H. T. Trevanna.

Miss Merrill has some good word for all of her feathered friends, even the abused owl. But Schooner Days likes best what the book says of gulls, terns, cormorants, coween, helldivers, loons, and the lake birds. Naturally, for these are the mutual friends of a lifetime.

The gull, too, was a favorite with the late Mrs. Egerton, whose haunting lines about lake gulls have appealed to many Schooner Days readers. Thus the book's dedication "To Helen"—Helen Merrill Egerton, Anne Merrill's talented sister—is particularly appealing, with its quotation from her "Bluebirds."

"I see the grasses shine with dew,

The cornflowers gleaming in the grain,

And oh! the bluebirds sing— and you?

We fare together, once again."

Both ladies are daughters of the late Judge Edwards Merrill of Picton—Commodore Merrill to sail-lovers. What they have written in prose and verse is racy of Prince Edward, Ontario's "island county," full of tradition of ploughshare and centreboard, Loyalist sacrifice and triumph, and the wind that shakes the barley—a happy contribution to the literature of the Canadian scene.

Apologies to those interested in the culmination of the fate of Capt. John Gow, the pirate of the Orkneys. It will be given next month, si le bon Dieu le veut, when more urgent matters have received attention.

Snider, C. H. J.
Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
11 Sep 1954
Language of Item
Richard Palmer
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Wings in the Wind and Over the Lake: Schooner Days MCLXXXV (1185)